# 4th/5th: Week of Sept 5

## General News

We look forward to seeing you next week at Parent Night on the 13th! In preparation for that event, we’d love to recruit your feedback on this super snappy check-in. It will allow us to tailor our presentation to your needs! Thank you for taking a minute to tell us about your initial experience this school year. Our surprise cake party and class book for Ms. Lorrie’s birthday on Thursday was a sweet success! The Gammas did an amazing job collaborating and keeping the surprise under wraps until the very last minute!

## Reading/Writing Update

This week in writing we worked on using who, what, when, where, why, and how questions into not only robust sentences but also robust paragraphs of sentences! We also started exploring how to determine the Theme in a story by using our schema (prior knowledge) and clues from the text to make an inference about what the moral or lesson and author is sharing in the story. Gammas did a great job with this and picked up these new vocabulary terms quickly!

## Math Update

Gamma math has been so delightful this week! The student’s focus and participation in class could not have been better. More and more, the Gammas are becoming more acclimated to the encouragement to take academic risks and I’ve seen more hands raised and questions asked this week. It’s awesome! Year 1 students spent the week practicing the somewhat-tricky skill of regrouping when subtracting large numbers. Many of the students needed assistance by week’s end, we were starting to get the swing of it. (There is a video on the Whippermathers.com page that shows the base ten blocks moving to demonstrate why we ‘bring over a ten’ when the bottom number is bigger. Kids watched it in class, but feel free to refer to it if your child wants a refresher.) Year 2 students learned all about the infamous Aunt Sally who needs to get excused! (Order of Operations, PEMDAS or GEMDAS) We talked about the reason we want to start slowing down and solving systematically (showing work on paper–unlike the emphasis in younger years of solving mentally and super speedily!) Both groups learned how to solve Ken-Ken puzzles and one is included as a challenge option on this week’s P&P. (There is a link to a how-to video refresher of these fantastic logic puzzles if kiddos want a memory jog!)

## Theme Update

This week in Theme we explored and experimented with some elements of physical chemistry by learning about mass, volume, buoyancy and density. We practiced note-taking as well as creating our own definitions for science concepts. We had a lot of fun learning about how these concepts transfer into real world situations by doing a STEM challenge with buoyancy. We worked on teams to create a flotation device that could hold the weight of “Jack and Rose” and keep them out of the icy cold waters of the Atlantic! During this lesson Gammas also practiced observing, taking notes, and drawing scientific conclusions.